Sunday, July 31, 2011

SEVEN

Seven years ago today I married my best friend.

Before I share "the story of us", I want to talk - for a minute - about something people rarely talk about... How diabetes can affect your marriage.

It's not always pretty.

Diabetes requires time. And money. It causes stress. People grieve - at different rates and in different ways. It can make you feel isolated. Angry. Scared.

Having little to no time together as a couple, the financial stress of medical bills and supplies, stress and worry over your child's health, being at different points in the grieving process and approaching it in different ways, resentment over the distribution of care, little sleep.... It all adds up to a very volatile combination.

Is it any wonder that it all becomes too much for some people?

It can either push you apart or push you together.

I am blessed and lucky that diabetes has pushed us closer. We are like our own island. We get it. And most other people around us just don't. We are there for each other. We work as a team and we pull each other through. I am so grateful!

Maybe this post could encourage you to talk to your spouse- to celebrate your victories or to pull together as a team. To get real about the stress of life with diabetes. And to vow to move forward together.

Maybe.

I hope so.

I have no great wisdom. No great advice. Just a wish for happiness and for love to triumph over all else. Especially diabetes.

The rest of this post I wrote last year. I just changed the number of years. Because it's still as true today as it was then!



If you've been reading my blog, you already know that J is a wonderful husband and father. You know that he is every bit as capable in handling diabetes as I am - and that he does handle it, every day. You know he takes good care of his girls and loves us both to pieces.

So... today I thought I'd tell you the story of how "we" came to be....

Go get some popcorn and a drink. Get comfy. Here we go...


Let's go back to the Spring of 2003.


I was part of a prayer group that met once a week during lunch at my school. The ladies in this group are all wonderful and we always had a LOT of fun together. They are also some of the most kind and caring people I have ever met.


One day after school, one of the ladies in the group came into my room holding a magazine. She said that didn't know I would be interested in this... or ready for this (I had just broken up with a boyfriend).... but she saw this advertisement and thought of me. It was an ad for eharmony.


I thanked her and took the magazine. I didn't think much about it. But later, I looked at it again. And I thought... "why not?". So I registered.


In the meantime, I had been reading a book that had a chapter devoted to the importance of being baptized as an adult. I was sprinkled as a baby and never felt I needed to do it again. But this book made a good argument that I couldn't get out of my head. It said something to the effect that while God won't hold blessings back from you, He wants you to obey and by doing so you can open up a whole new world of possibilities. (for the record, I do not think you have to be baptized as adult for it to "count" or something. I think it's a personal decision that between YOU and GOD. No one else.) So, on May 22, 2003, I was baptized. (I tell you the date because soon you will notice a pattern....)

On June 1, 2003, my "match" with J was created on eharmony.


The way eharmony works is that you fill out a questionnaire about yourself. Then it matches you up with people that are like you. Then you can choose to initiate a conversation. The first step is multiple choice questions. You pick five and send them to your match. They answer and pick 5 to send to you. Then you do a "Must Have/Can't Stand" list. You pick your top 10 of each and send it to your match. They do the same and send it back. Then you do short answer questions. You pick 3 (or write your own). Your match answers and sends you questions. Then you move to actually emailing each other. Yes, it IS a process. You can skip all that if you want but I kinda liked it. And hey.... it worked!


By the time J and I were finally emailing each other, summer was in full swing and I was in Florida for 2 weeks. So we talked a lot on email and decided to meet when I got home. By the time we actually met, we felt like we already knew a lot about each other. Which was nice.



We also found that we had a LOT in common. More than eharmony knew.... Like - we both went to the same college. He graduated in June of '94 and I started in August of '94. We both love sports - and even went to the same tennis tournament the same years - and sat in the same section just rows apart. Weird. We both like amusement parks and thrill rides - and he's pretty sure (I think he's crazy but whatever) that my good friend and I were the ones that hooked him up to the bungee ride. We worked there and he was visiting. There's lots of stuff like that.

On July 22, 2003, we met for the first time at a little park close to his house.

On October 22, 2003, he asked me to marry him at the same little park.

On July 31, 2004, we got married in a little chapel on campus.

On March 6, 2006, our sweet little Sweetpea was born.
And you know the rest of the story....


J -


It's hard to believe that it's been 6 years.... It seems like yesterday and forever ago all at the same time. 6 years ago we said "for better or worse". We've had countless wonderful, joyful times. And we've had our share of rough times, too. 6 years ago we said "in sickness and in health". I always imagined that would be when we were old and gray. Not a mere 5 years later. And NOT in reference to our sweet baby girl.


Diabetes entered our lives like a tornado - turning everything we knew upside down. The world it left behind was different and new. And it seems, at times, like everything changed on that day.
What has not changed is my love for you and for Sweetpea. I love you both more than anything in the world.


Today. Tomorrow. And No Matter What.



Happy Anniversary!

Musical Accompaniment: Love of My Life by Jim Brickman and Michael W. Smith (the song we danced to at our wedding) and God Blessed the Broken Road by Rascall Flatts


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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I LOVE FRED - A Repost

 This post was originally published on November 25, 2010.  But I thought it should come back.  

You see, today marks the 90th anniversary of the discover of insulin.  90 years ago today Doctors Banting and Best were successfully able to isolate insulin for the first time.  And in doing, saved countless lives.

Including the life of my daughter...
 

Yesterday, I wrote about many of the diabetes blessings that I am thankful for.  I was going to write more today about about how thankful I am for my wonderful hubby and darling little girl.  And I AM so VERY thankful for them!  
But I write about them a lot.

So today I'm going to tell you about Fred.  A man I have never met.  A man I am so incredibly thankful for.  I man who holds a special place in my heart.

Do you know who I'm talking about?

Why, Dr. Frederick Banting, of course!
 
From NobelPrize.org:

In October 1920 in Toronto, Canada, Dr. Frederick Banting, an unknown surgeon with a bachelor's degree in medicine, had the idea that the pancreatic digestive juices could be harmful to the secretion of the pancreas produced by the islets of Langerhans.

Early in 1921, Banting took his idea to Professor John Macleod at the University of Toronto, who was a leading figure in the study of diabetes in Canada. Macleod didn't think much of Banting's theories. Despite this, Banting managed to convince him that his idea was worth trying. Macleod gave Banting a laboratory with a minimum of equipment and ten dogs. Banting also got an assistant, a medical student by the name of Charles Best. The experiment was set to start in the summer of 1921.

Banting and Best with a diabetic dog
Banting, right, and Best, left, with one of the diabetic dogs used in experiments with insulin.
Credits: University of Toronto Archives

Banting and Best began their experiments by removing the pancreas from a dog. This resulted in the following:
  • It's blood sugar rose.
  • It became thirsty, drank lots of water, and urinated more often.
  • It became weaker and weaker.
The dog had developed diabetes.

After a while, they removed the pancreas, sliced it up, and froze the pieces in a mixture of water and salts. When the pieces were half frozen, they were ground up and filtered. The isolated substance was named "isletin."

The extract was injected into the diabetic dog. Its blood glucose level dropped, and it seemed healthier and stronger. By giving the diabetic dog a few injections a day, Banting and Best could keep it healthy and free of symptoms.

Banting and Best showed their result to Macleod, who was impressed, but he wanted more tests to prove that their pancreatic extract really worked.

Banting and Best's laboratory Banting's and Best's laboratory, where insulin was discovered.
Credits: University of Toronto Archives


For the increased testing, Banting and Best realized that they required a larger supply of organs than their dogs could provide, and they started using pancreases from cattle. With this new source, they managed to produce enough extract to keep several diabetic dogs alive.

The new results convinced Macleod that they were onto something big. He gave them more funds and moved them to a better laboratory with proper working conditions. He also suggested they should call their extract "insulin." Now, the work proceeded rapidly.

In late 1921, a third person, biochemist Bertram Collip, joined the team. Collip was given the task of trying to purify the insulin so that it would be clean enough for testing on humans.
During the intensified testing, the team also realized that the process of shrinking the pancreases had been unnecessary. Using whole fresh pancreases from adult animals worked just as well.

The team was eager to start testing on humans. But on whom should they test? Banting and Best began by injecting themselves with the extract. They felt weak and dizzy, but they were not harmed.
Collip continued his work to purify the insulin. He also experimented with trying to find the correct dosage. He learned how to diminish the effect of an insulin overdose with glucose in different forms. He discovered that the glucose should be as pure as possible. Orange juice and honey are good examples of foods rich in glucose.

In January 1922 in Toronto, Canada, a 14-year-old boy, Leonard Thompson, was chosen as the first person with diabetes to receive insulin. The test was a success. Leonard, who before the insulin shots was near death, rapidly regained his strength and appetite. The team now expanded their testing to other volunteer diabetics, who reacted just as positively as Leonard to the insulin extract.

Amazing, isn't it?  What if he had given up?  What if the criticism he got kept him from pursuing his theories?

Do you know what "life" was like before insulin? 

Before the discovery of insulin, a diabetes dx meant eventual coma and certain death.  A person with diabetes had a lifespan of only one month to two years. Doctors eventually found that a near-starvation diet of a few hundred calories per day helped to extend some patients' lives by a year or two. Most patients were severely malnourished and very few weighed much more than 70 pounds towards the end of their illness. 
From DiabetesHealth.com:
In his book, The Discovery of Insulin, Michael Bliss describes the painful wasting death of many people with diabetes before insulin: "Food and drink no longer mattered, often could not be taken. A restless drowsiness shaded into semi-consciousness. As the lungs heaved desperately to expel carbonic acid (as carbon dioxide), the dying diabetic took huge gasps of air to try to increase his capacity. 'Air hunger' the doctors called it, and the whole process was sometimes described as 'internal suffocation.' The gasping and sighing and sweet smell lingered on as the unconsciousness became a deep diabetic coma. At that point the family could make its arrangements with the undertaker, for within a few hours death would end the suffering."

Gruesome, isn't it?  
Diabetes doesn't seem so silent or innocuous when you know what happens.
And this hits me so hard because I KNOW....  So many of us do...  that sweet smell.  The struggling for breath.  The constant thirst and urination.  The pain.  The indifference to food.  The lethargy.  The thin, frail body.  The throwing up.  The look.  The smell...
Do you wonder, like I do, "How much time did we have left?  What if I hadn't pressed for that blood test?  What if we had waited?  What if I had ignored it longer...?"  


From PBS.org:
The discovery of insulin was one of the most revolutionary moments in medicine. Though it took some time to work out proper dosages and to develop manufacturing processes to make enough insulin of consistent strength and purity, the introduction of insulin seemed literally like a miracle. One year the disease was an automatic death sentence; the next, people -- even children -- had hopes of living full and productive lives even with the disease. Estimates show there are more than 15 million diabetics living today who would have died at an early age without insulin.

One of those 15 million diabetics is my child.  

 

I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I am to those doctors.  How glad I am that they didn't give up.  

Heidi over at A Work in Progress said that Dr. Banting would be one of the first people she looked for in Heaven.  I agree.  But I have a feeling there will be a long line to say "Thank You".
The Banting House still stands today in London, Ontario, Canada.  It features a statue of statue of Sir Frederick Banting and the Flame of Hope. 




From www.diabetes.ca:
This symbol of hope burns for all those with diabetes that a cure will soon be found. It is also recognized as a tribute to Dr. Banting’s unrelenting pursuit of insulin; to the lives already lost to the disease; and to the continuing perseverance of those who live with diabetes today.

While the Flame of Hope is a symbol of hope, it is also a reminder that insulin is only a control for diabetes, not a cure. Only when that cure is at last found, will the Flame of Hope be extinguished.

I don't know about you, but I plan on being there when that flame is extinguished. 



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Meeting DD: A Giveaway

** I am still accepting photos for the Face of Diabetes book project!  I may try to put 2 kids per page so we can have lots of kids but still an affordable book!  Click HERE for more info.  Send your pics and bio to theprincessandthepump@gmail.com! **

Last week, we had the pleasure of meeting Noah, The Diabetes Dude, and his family!

(Sweets and Noah showing their pods!  Well, Sweets is pointing to her since it's in a 'delicate' area!)

Luckily, they were attending a Diabetes Camp close to us and we were able to get together for a little picnic in the park!

It was soooo fun! And it was soooo hot!

Their entire family is just as awesome as they seem! Sweetpea and Koda immediately bonded - five year olds seems to be drawn together like glue! They had fun playing - on the playground, in the rocks, pretty much anywhere! Noah is just as sweet and well spoken as you'd imagine! Dana is also a sweetheart - so kind and good with the little ones! Sweetpea fell in love with her right away! And Tim and Tracy were great! We sat down and chatted like old friends!

We did the flamingo glide

Decorated pods

And ate some yummy flamingo cookies!
(Yes, I know they look like birds. The dough squished up when I baked them!)



Then, the next day, we met up with DD again at a local ADA camp! I got lost and so we got there late (cornfields all look the same!). But we did get to see Ally and some other friends! We made sure to get a pic so that Misty knew she was having fun and doing well!



DD and his family brought us lots of goodies they got at FFL and brought with them on tour! And I'd love to share these things with YOU!

In our DD Prize pack, I have a Bayer Didget meter, Delica lancet, Charlie Kimball matchbox car, Freestyle meter covers, Accu-Chek supply bag, ADA back to school guide, and more!

 (Cat not included... No matter what J might say!)

Here are the rules:

1.  Leave me a comment before midnight Sunday, July 31, 2011.  Include your first name (comments left with out a name will be eliminated).

2. To earn extra entries for the giveaway post a separate comment for each: 

     * Tweet about this giveaway, then leave a comment with a link
      
     * Facebook about this giveaway, then leave a comment with a link

     * Blog about this giveaway, then leave a comment with a link

  
- You MUST leave a comment for each separate entry (ie. one for the basic entering, one for tweeting it, one for linking it on facebook...)

- No duplicate comments are allowed and will be eliminated.

- Winners will be selected via random draw at http://www.random.org/.  

- Winners' names will be posted here on The Princess and The Pump on Monday August 1, 2011

- After a winner is named and posted, the winner will have 48 hours to send a message to me at theprincessandthepump@gmail.com.   If I do not hear from the winner within 48 hours, I will select a new winner.  

Good Luck!!!


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Monday, July 25, 2011

The Faces of Diabetes: A Project

First, I want to say THANK YOU to everyone who commented with ideas, suggestions, and encouragement about my last post.  95% of the time, Sweetpea is a very happy little girl.  She skips and sings through life!  However, as she is growing up, we are starting to notice the little signs of some burnout, some rebellion, some not wanting people to know she has diabetes, some not wanting to talk about, some not wanting to be different.

We each address this with our children the best we know how.  And each child is so different.  Just like diabetes itself.  There is no one perfect way to address these issues that sooner or later we will all face.

What we are trying to do is give her as much freedom as possible.  We let her talk and express her feelings in appropriate ways.  If she does not want to wear Dex around her waist, that's ok.  The pod has made this much easier for us as it's pretty much invisible under her clothing so if she isn't wearing Dex, no one really knows about diabetes.  But our non-negotiables are that she MUST check her bg (or let me do it), she must let us figure out how many carbs she is going to eat (either through reading labels, counting, or weighing) and she must wear Dex to school (at least until we get things figured out).

And that got me thinking...

School.  I wonder how THAT is going to play out.

For the last two years, she has been in the same class with the same teachers.  This year will be different.  There will be more kids in her class.  More kids who have never heard of diabetes.  They are going to wonder why she's going to the nurse.  They may wonder what the pod or Dexcom is.  They are going to ask questions.

In the past, I have sent in some children's books about diabetes.  I have let Sweets take the lead and explain to the class.  I have offered to talk.  It was always a nice thing to do.  And Sweetpea always liked it.  In fact, her teacher told me once that it was like she was just waiting for that day when she talked about diabetes, because after that she opened up so much more.

She's getting older.  And she just wants so badly to be like everyone else.

And then I had an idea....

I want to make a book.

Kind of like what Wendy did for Sugar when she was having some troubles with her Dexcom.

I want to make a book that can help every child with diabetes not feel alone.  A book they can take to school.  A book they can look at in their homes.  A book that shows them that they are NOT alone.

But I need YOUR help!

Here's what I'm thinking...

Send me a picture of your CWD - or of YOU if YOU have diabetes.  I really don't want just kids in this book!  I want some adults, too!!!

Complete the following...

Hi!  My name is _________. (you can use a nickname if you want)
I am _______ years old and I've had diabetes for _______.
I like to ____________________. (favorite hobby or sport)
This is my _____________________. (pump, cgm, d kit, shots, whatever...)

I want pics of people with their pumps or cgms or supplies.  Not just pics of the person - although you can send both.  You can also send a pic of you or your child doing something they like - sports, dance, music... whatever.

I'm going to use the info you give me and the photos and go to Shutterfly and make a photo book.

I'm envisioning this book filled with the faces of Type 1.  Filled with people all living lives with diabetes.  A book that people can look at and SEE they are not alone.  A book that they can share with others so that others can SEE that having diabetes does not make you so different.

When I'm done with the book, I'll make it available for you to purchase a copy.

If you provide a photo for the book, it's yours for the price I have to pay.  I'm not making any money on this deal.  Whatever the cost of the book is plus shipping, that's all I'm going to charge you.  Price will depend on many photos we get.

If you did NOT provide a pic for the book, you are still welcome to order one.  I'm going to add a few dollars to the total price and donate 100% of that money to JDRF.

Understand that by sending me a picture to use in this book, you are agreeing to have your child's name and face in the book.  You will not be compensated in any.

Again, this is not something I'm doing to make money - I will not make one cent from making these books.  I'm doing this to help my daughter not feel alone.  And hopefully, help some other people in the process!

Please send your photos  and text to theprincessandthepump@gmail.com

I will need to limit the number of photos to keep the book at an affordable price!  I'll use the first 20-30 pics I get.

Feel free to share this with anyone and everyone you wish!

And if you have any suggestions to make this easier or better, please leave them in the comments section!

Thanks!

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sweet Freedom: An Ice Cream Review

As Meri over at Our Diabetic Life said, "I blog, therefore I get free stuff!"

I LOVE free stuff.  I LOVE trying new things.  So when I got an email from Blue Bunny asking me to sample and review their new Sweet Freedom Snack Size products, I said.... YES, PLEASE!

Sweets loves her ice cream!  (Yes, that's right.  Sweets eats ice cream.  But that's a blog post for another day.  If you don't know what I'm talking about click here to read Mike's blog post.)

But often, ice cream servings are too much for her to eat.  She is tiny girl with a tiny tummy.  I was so excited to see the size of these snack products!

First, they showed up in this HUGE box filled with dry ice (which was a treat all on it's own)!  There were ice cream cones and ice cream sandwiches!

Sweets immediately wanted to try the ice cream cones.  Blue Bunny describes these as "Vanilla lowfat no sugar added ice cream in a no sugar added cone dipped in a chocolate flavored coating topped with peanuts.  Now in a snack size!  6 cones per box."


The size was perfect!!

Each cone has 120 calories, 6g of fat and 17g of carbs.  There are 2g of dietary fiber and 8g of sugar alcohols. 

I'm really not a fan of sugar alcohols.  I'd prefer to just buy the regular stuff in that size.  But that's my opinion!

We all tried the cones and we all liked them - especially Sweetpea!  She even ate the nuts and she usually does not care for nuts!

We also tried the ice cream sandwiches!

Well, J and I tried them.  Sweets does not like ice cream sandwiches and would not give them a try!

Blue Bunny describes these as "Vanilla or chocolate no sugar added lowfat ice cream between two no sugar added chocolate flavored wafers.  8 sandwiches per box."

Each sandwich has 80 calories and less than 2g of fat.  There are 18g carbs - 2g of dietary fiber and 2g of sugar alcohols.

J did not really care for these.  But he's pretty picky!  I thought that they were good - although I didn't try the chocolate because I don't eat chocolate ice cream.  (Yes, weird...)

You can find out more about these products by visiting Blue Bunny online or on facebook!  You can also read other reviews by Heidi over at D Tales or by Meri at Our Diabetic Life

I LOVE the size of these treats and think they are a great treat option for summer!  You can find them now at your local grocery store!

 Disclaimer:  I received the one box of each of these products free.  Blue Bunny asked me to write a review but all opinions are my own.  I received no other compensation for writing this post!


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Friday, July 22, 2011

Struggling

We're struggling a bit over here.

I am struggling.  But that's not what I'm talking about now.

Sweets is struggling, too.

Things are getting harder and I don't know what to do about it.

It started a few weeks ago.

"Mom, the kids in my gymnastics class keep asking what Dexie is."

"What do you tell them?"

"I tell them it's a monitor because I have diabetes."

"What do they say?"

"Nothing."

"Does it bother you that they are asking you?"

"Yes.  It bothers me a lot.  It's annoying.  I don't want to talk about it."

Today we had the exact same conversation - just replace the word 'gymnastics' with 'tennis'.

We're also having issues with testing.  I'll ask her to come over to test and she'll say "NO".

Or with food.

If she's eating with friends, she does NOT want her snack counted.



Today we were playing at a friends house.  Three hungry kids.  They decided on goldfish crackers.  The other two immediately dig into the box.  Nothing wrong with that... that's what they are used to doing.

But that's not how it works at our house.

"Wait a sec - I'll get you a bowl."

"I don't want a bowl.  I don't want you to count them."

Today I said that everyone would be getting a bowl and that satisfied her.  The other day, the same thing happened but she was not as easily made happy.  I finally had to tell her that if I didn't count them, she didn't eat them.

AND... issues in general.  Waiting to be bolused for food at a friends house.  He had run on ahead and I needed her to wait just a second.  "I HATE DIABETES!" she yelled.



Today she was dropping fast on the way back home.  I caught it and gave her juice.  She was coming up... but she was angry.  ANGRY.  She cried.  She hit a pillow.  She stomped.  She did pretty much everything you would think a five year old would do to vent their anger.

I'm glad she's not holding it inside.  I'm glad she's telling me that kids are saying things and it bothers her.

But it scares me, too.  And it makes me sad.  It hurts my heart to see her struggle with these emotions.
  
We discussed things she could tell the kids when they ask about the Dexcom.  I told her that it was ok for her not to wear it during gymnastics and tennis.  Class is only an hour.  It's not highly physical.  I'm right there.  I tried to talk it through and make a plan together.

I let her hit the pillow and stomp and cry.  And then I pulled her up with me on the couch and just hugged her and let her calm down while watching tv.

I don't know what else to do.

So, what do YOU do?

How do you help your kids navigate through these issues?  What do you do when they start becoming aware and verbalizing that they are different and they don't like it? 



We need help!

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

ABC MeMe: My Turn

I love me some MeMe's!  I love reading them and I love writing them!  SO.... here you go!

Age:  FINE.  I'll tell you.  35. 

Bed Size:  Queen.  But we need a King. 

Chore you Dislike:  All of them.  I want a housekeeper.  I hate cleaning toilets.  I mean, who LIKES that?  And cleaning the shower.  The whole bathroom is pretty gross.

Dogs: No, thank you.  I don't do dogs.  It's all the barking and licking.  If they didn't do that I'd be ok.  I'm a cat person.  But I DO like the diabetes alert dogs.  I think I could love a well trained dog.  And Meri's dog, Lawton...  I LOVE Lawton.  I've never met him but I think he's great!  I know I would love him. 
Essential Start to your Day:  Go back to sleep.  I hate morning.  HATE.  I have no essential start to my day.  I grab a water.  That's about it.  

Favorite Color:  PINK!  I love to wear black... and pink.

Gold or Silver: 
Silver.  Love me some jewelry.  The bigger the piece, the better! 

Height:  
5' 6.5"

Instruments you Play(ed): 
Violin.  I played for about 8 years.  I was good, too.  I miss it sometimes.  I have still have it... I would love for Sweets to show an interest in it.

Job Title: 
Teacher.  Wife.  Pancreas.  JDRF Government Relations Volunteer - or just Volunteer in general.  I'm sure there are more.... 

Kids: 
Just one.  Sweetpea, age 5.  J says the only good thing about D was that it got us on the same page as far as having more kids.  He was done with one.  I wasn't so sure... but now I am!

Live: 
in Ohio.  I hate winter.  My second home, where I have been going since I was 5, is Bradenton, Florida.  LOVE IT.  I really should live there.  I NEED the beach.

Mother's Name:
 
Bonnie

Nicknames: 
Hals and..... Never mind.....

Overnight Hospital Stays: 
When Sweets was born.  When Sweets was dx'd.  When Sweets had the seizures.

Pet Peeves: 
It drives me crazy when a certain person I know speeds up the car when someone pulls in front of us or something like that in order to "teach them a lesson".  I also hate it when things are spelled with the wrong letters.  Like Krispy Kreme.  Why not use the letter C?  It's still the same letter. 

Quote from a Movie: 
From Sixteen Candles:
Well, if it's any consolation, I love you. 
                  
And if this guy can't see in you all the beautiful and wonderful things that I see, then he's got the problem.
                 
I know. It just hurts.
               
That's why they call them crushes.
                     
If they were easy, they'd call 'em something else.
             
But if I were Ginny, I'd have this guy crawling on his knees.
            
Well, let me tell you something about Ginny.
                   
Now, I love her as much as I love you.
But she's a different person. 
                   
Sometimes I worry about her.
           
When you're given things kind of easily, you don't always appreciate them.
               
With you, I'm not worried.
                 
When it happens to you,
Samantha, it'll be forever.
Righty or Lefty:  Righty.  But I do use my left hand a bit.

Siblings
None.  I'm an only, too.  So is my mom.  I have a small family!  I like it that way!

Time you Wake Up: 
Too early.  Does not matter the actual time.  During school, I wake up about 6:45 ish. 

Underwear:  YES!  As Sweets says, "When you go somewhere you should make sure that you wash your hands and brush your teeth and wear underwear.  It's just polite."

Vegetables you Don't Like: 
I love veggies!  Especailly squash and zucchini!  YUM!  I don't really like Okra.  Or greens.  Weird things that my dad eats.  

What Makes you Run Late: 
HA!  Is this a trick question?!?  I am ALWAYS late.  ALWAYS.  I try.  I really do.  But I suck at being on time.  LIFE makes me late. 

X-rays you Have Had: 
Wrist (broken), Foot (broken), Finger (broken and unfixable), ankle (just sprained).  TWO of those injuries happened at work.  Kindergarten is a dangerous place.

Yummy Food you Make:
Is this a trick question?!?  Reservations???  No, I actually CAN cook.  I make yummy vegetable pizza and fruit pizza.  Deviled Eggs are a specialty.  J likes my lasagna. 


Zoo Animal Favorite: 
Elephants, giraffes, and LIONS.  I love looking at the paws on the lions.  They look so much like my cat... just BIGGER!

 


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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

2 years, 2 months, & 22 days.... Thank Goodness for True Friends!

I just realized that Sweets was diagnosed with T1 2 years, 2 months and 22 days ago.  Weird.

But you know what?  I don't want to focus on that.  I'm too tired to go there right now.  Things are going well with the pod.  Numbers are looking good.  We have been having a LOT of fun....

So, today I'm going to focus on THAT.

I'm not going to think about all the CRAP we have dealt with over the past 2 years, 2 months and 22 days.

Nope.

I'm going to think of the all the wonderful people who have been brought into our lives.  And how utterly thankful we are for them.  Without the friends we have made on this journey and the ones who knew us before and never left our sides, we would be lost.  Truly.

So today I'm going to tell you about some of my wonderful friends...

A good friend is someone who gives you her extra blood ketone tester when your CWD is sick, you are on vacation, and your ketone tester has stopped working. 



Thanks, Lora!

A good friend is someone who not only supports your decision to switch pumps but is also available to answer questions.  

Thanks Laura, Penny, Lorraine, Denise... and everyone else who messaged me!

A good friend is someone who sends you a care package full of stickers to decorate your pods and new awesome test strips.... Just because!


Thanks, Laura!

A good friend is someone who offers to  watch your CWD - even though she has young children of her own.  Even though it's scary.  Even though she worries she won't know what to do. 

A good friend is someone who gets your name in the Secret Santa drawing and picks out very special things that she knows you will LOVE just because that is how super awesome she is!  Thanks, Heidi!

A good friend is someone who listens, even though she can't really completely understand what this life is like.

A good friend is someone who when you meet for the first time, you can sit and talk for hours like old friends.

 Kelly, Me, & Misty - and two of our CWD's


 Me and Tracy, Sweets and Princess - The look on Sweet's face makes me laugh...

 J, Me, Lora, Justin, Sweets, and Leighanna

A good friend is someone who "gets it" and makes you feel "same - same". 

 Sweetpea and Ally

A good friend is there for you, regardless of how far apart you are.

A good friend is someone who loves you for who you are, just the way you are.

We are so thankful for all the good friends we have in our life!


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Monday, July 18, 2011

Guest Post - Swim Lessons



Sweetpea started swim lessons last week.

Sort of.

She went once.

It was not good.

Wanna know what happened?!?

I guest posted for Heather from Sweet to the Soul last week! Click HERE to read the post where I tell exactly what happened!




I had the pleasure of meeting Heather IN PERSON last week while she was here on a little vacation! She, Misty, and I got to hang out! I had never met Heather before but it was like meeting an old friend. D Meet ups are the BEST!

Sweetpea spent the afternoon playing with Misty's girls.  They have so much fun!  That afternoon they were playing in the inflatable pool in the backyard.  Sweetpea was doing cannon balls into the pool.  The inflatable pool.  On the the hard ground.  She landed on her pod.  And.... off it came!

Note to self:  Next time child is going to be doing cannon balls onto the hard ground, TAPE DOWN THE POD!

For the record, this is the first pod that has come off.  Even with days full of swimming and baths and gymnastics and tennis.  The others have held tight with no tape, no skin-tac, no nothing.  That makes me happy.

Anyway, Heather got to see Sweets do her second pod change - AWAKE.  Normally she would have been a basket case.  She would have cried and fought and tried to hide.  It would have been ugly.  But this time... I was amazed.  She put it on and SHE pushed the button.  In it went.  A couple of tears (the fake kind) and a second later she was done and saying how easy it was and how we could do pod changes any time of day if we wanted to.  HUH?!?  I'm not sure WHY the pod scares her less... but it does.  And I that makes me happy, too!

I'm SO GLAD I got to visit with Heather!   Now it's your turn.  Go on over...  And tell her I said HI!



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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Coco, Disney, and the JONAS Brothers?!? Oh my!

Meet Coco!



Coco is a member of Mickey's gang that hangs out around the Clubhouse.  You may have seen Coco before in episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  When Sweets saw the above picture, she knew EXACTLY who Coco was!  "She's not NEW, Mom!  I've seen her before!"

Yes, we do love our Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!

But then I told Sweets the "news"!  "There is something very special about Coco.  She was just diagnosed with diabetes."

Her eyes got big and wide.  She looked at me with a smile spreading across her face.  "She has diabetes?!?  Just like me!!"

Coco was unveiled at this year's CWD Friends for Life conference. She is part of the exciting new Disney/Lilly collaboration!  Coco will be part of a collection of custom books for children of various ages and stages of life with diabetes.  Taken from the press release:
  The publications will focus on the many aspects of childhood with type 1 diabetes, such as returning to school after diagnosis, going to birthday parties and playing sports. The books will be released over several years and made available through select doctors’ offices.



The first book is called Coco and Goofy's Goofy Day and is part of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse series.  You can read more about this book from Lorraine over at This is Caleb.



But Coco isn't alone.  Another exciting part of this partnership is the "special online destination dedicated entirely to type 1 diabetes"!  You can find this at www.family.com/type1.  This website contains helpful information for families at any stage of their journey with type 1.  Content is provided by dietitians, psychologists, nurses, and everyday families.

And that's not ALL!  


Released today is the announcement that Disney and Lilly have teamed up with Denise Jonas, mother to the JONAS BROTHERS, to launch a contest for caregivers of children with type 1 diabetes.  Denise's son, Nick (you know NICK, right?!?  Everyone listens to Camp Rock constantly, right?!?), was diagnosed with type 1 at age 13.  She has joined forces with Disney and Lilly to share her experiences of how their family was impacted by type 1 diabetes.  The Once Upon a Time Contest asks caregivers to submit an original written work inspired by their child's experiences with type 1.  The contest runs from today (July 14, 2011) until November 30, 2011.  The winner wins a family trip for four the the 2012 Friends for Life Conference in Orlando, Florida from July 4-8, 2012.  You can find out more information by clicking HERE!




We were unable to attend FFL this year so I missed out on the special event with the folks from Lilly when they unveiled this little piece of magic!  BUMMER!  But, I did have the opportunity to speak with Matt Caffrey, Product Brand Director for Lilly Diabetes, about this exciting new partnership!

Some of my D Mama friends and I had some more questions... and I was able to get some answers!

Lora and Wendy were curious about what sparked the connection between Lilly and Disney.  I was told that connection started on an airplane!  Someone from Lilly and someone from Disney sat next to one another during a flight.  For most of the flight, they kept to themselves.  But as they were leaving, they began to talk.  This led to the exchange of business cards.  The business card of the fellow from Disney ended up at Lilly Diabetes and the rest is history! 

Kelly wanted to know if the books would be available for purchase.  The books will be available for no cost through select doctors offices.  They will not be available for sale.

Misty wanted to know if Coco would appear on Mickey Clubhouse on TV or if she would just be in the books.  Right now, Coco will just appear in the books!

Heather wanted to know if there would be a plush of Coco available.  Unfortunately, there are not plans for a plush at this time.  This is a big bummer for us!  Sweets would LOVE a Coco!

I also learned that in addition to the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse series (that will roll out over the next few years) there will also be a series for tweens and teens.  There will be books aimed at boys and books aimed at girls.  There will also be a travel guide and a cookbook. 

I was interested to know if there were any plans for the website to include a place for children.  There is not.  The website is dedicated to the adults.  I spent some time looking around the website and I was very impressed.  I felt that the articles and information found there were very timely and relevant to families.  The content of the website will be updated every month. 

I also just loved the website's tagline: "Life with Type 1 Diabetes:  Everyday Challenges.  Everyday Magic."  Is that not just spot on?  We certainly face a lot of challenges.  But we also experience a lot of magic!

Something that I heard over and over in my conversation with Matt was that Lilly and Disney are really focusing on elevating the dialogue surrounding life with type 1 diabetes.  They hope to show all the things that people with type 1 CAN do!  They aim to do this by providing motivation, inspiration, and practical how-to's.

I really can not express how excited I am about this partnership! 

Seeing Coco, a Disney Character, who is living with type 1 is priceless!  As was Sweetpea's reaction!  Someone "just like her" living with Mickey!  WOW!  She just said, "Mom, I SO need to get her autograph!"

On a personal level, it's a wonderful thing.  But it's also so very special on a larger scale.  Disney and Lilly can reach such a large audience of the general population.  The opportunities for education and awareness are limitless! 

I look forward to seeing what the future holds for this very special partnership!

** Disclosure:  I received some educational information that was provided at the FFL conference.  I was not asked to write this post nor was I compensated in any way.  All opinions are my own.**



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Life for a Child

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